Dr. Angela Valenzuela will provide a brief history of the ethnic studies movement in Texas, including the inspiration it has drawn from the struggle over Mexican American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. This movement of Texas scholars is responsible for the defeat of a racist textbook considered in the September and November 2016 meetings of the Texas State Board of Education. It further involves several ethnic studies bills currently at play in the Texas State Legislature. Dr. Valenzuela follows with a presentation of her work at both the national and local levels in advocating for ethnic studies for higher education teacher preparation. She calls for an asset-based approach that not only counters deficit thinking and subtractive schooling, but which is also optimally grounded in a community-based, grow-your-own educator, pathway approach to growing the culturally relevant teachers our schools need. Relatedly, participants will collectively consider the prospects of a local pathway into the teaching profession at The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Valenzuela is a professor in Educational Policy and Planning Program Area in the Department of Educational Administration and the Cultural Studies in Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Valenzuela's research and teaching interests are in the sociology of education, race and ethnic relations, education policy, school partnerships, urban education reform, and indigenous education.